Bill would close South Carolina "gun law loophole" that let shooter own firearm


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Two opposing viewpoints…
To someone who sees bearing arms as a civil right once only permitted to lords, a free state will grant this as a civil right to all people(read:white, male, landowners), three days is perhaps a reasonable infringement but no more.
To someone who seeks a prohibition of such items a waiting period which lasts longer than three days in a minority of cases without returning an answer is better than no barrier at all.


#3

While this case would obviously have turned out better had the transaction been denied; I find it a bit disconcerting that the ‘mistake’ is the clerical error rather than a background check process that failed to discover anything useful.

Roof was arrested for misdemeanor drug possession; and not convicted(presumably, since he admitted to the charge, bothering with securing a conviction must not have been deemed worth the trouble). Had the background check been completed successfully, the FBI would have denied him for being some sort of apparently really petty drug user.

Roof’s enthusiasm for race war and idolization of repressive white minority governments where outside the scope of the check; and would not have been an impediment to his purchase even if they somehow did fall in scope.

In this particular case, the rejection would have achieved a desirable outcome; but only by more or less pure accident. The background check failed to dig up an unrelated and very unlikely to be predictive crime that probably shouldn’t have been a police matter at all; but would have hit the legal rocks pretty hard if it had even tried to look, much less to disqualify, on the basis of the writings that related to why he was actually dangerous. That problem makes the clerical error issue seem pretty minor.


#4

So if drugs are legalized…


#5

“Spree killer”?

What kind of ideologically-motivated atrocity does a white man have to commit before he’s called a terrorist?


#6

How many of those revolver stock photos have you got?


#7

Trying to induce feelings of terror is typically what would be involved. Hence the name.


#8

Are you saying that Dylann Roof was not trying to induce terror? His stated intention was to start a race war. Is that not terroristic? How is it less terroristic than a Muslim man killing Marines?


#9

The 3-day limit is in there to prevent the NICS system from being used as a de facto ban, by the FBI deciding to sit on their thumbs and never allow a sale to proceed (or some third party deciding for them by de-funding offices or whatnot). For scale, which was not obvious to me before I met some friends who are in to guns, there are about 2 million NICS checks per month - a couple extra days to paper-shuffle isn’t going to make much difference, either the problem is in the low-hanging electronic databases, or someone made a filing error and the disqualifying factor has vanished into the ether.

Part of that fear comes from the much older NFA stamp process (for suppressors, rifles under a certain length, transfers of pre-ban automatics, and other things that are “scary”), that is famous for months long delays, and various places that have had concealed carry permit systems where “may issue” meant “issue only to politicians.”

Extralegal and/or discretionary reasons for denial strike me as dangerous, that will very quickly go in a direction that includes such hits as “Associated with radical organizations (like the ACLU who keeps suing the agency who runs these checks), denied forever”, “grew up in the 'hood, therefore association with (now) known gang members, denied forever” and the de-euphemized version of the previous that would inevitably spring up some places “black, must be a criminal, denied forever.”

I don’t have a problem with a low-friction background check system with clear, non-subjective disqualifying properties, to discourage convicted violent assholes and medically confirmed crazies form getting their hands on guns. I would be much happier if individuals could use it via some kind of shared-token system (right now, only FFLs can use the NICS system - this is one of the reasons universal background check proposals always get shot down), but introducing unending limbo or subjective criteria doesn’t seem like it would turn out well.


#10

Don’t even bother. This guy won’t admit it was an act of terrorism even when confronted with the fact that Roof actually told one of the survivors that he was letting her live to tell others what happened there.


#11

Thanks for the tip. But it would be a good start for Beschizza to refer to Roof as a terrorist in this article, rather than as a “spree killer”.


#12

What about not referring to anyone as a “terrorist”? The benefits are numerous - no quarrels about the meaning of the word, no attempts to manipulate the meaning of the word, and less power to actual terrorists who get denied their scary word.

…and less power to politicos who like the rubbery words to push their agendas.


#13

Yeah, somebody discovered the “guns pointing at things” stock photography collection. I suspect there are quite a few of them.


#14

Jesus Christ. I feel like I am watching a house burn and instead of adding water, they try sticking more wood in it to see if the fire will burn the wood instead of the house.

“We should have background checks before you can buy a gun.”

“We do, for any gun bought from an FFL store.”

“Oh well, it isn’t working, we need MORE laws.”

“So because the gov. sucks at its job (big surprise) we need to pass more laws instead of fixing the ones we currently have?”

First off, 3 days should be plenty of time to run this check. Usually they take place over the phone in a few minutes unless they are having system issues or for some reason you are flagged. But it isn’t like some one is going into a cavernous room of filing cabinets and rifling through files to look up someones back ground. It is all computerized. If the system isn’t set up to network and alert the NICS system of all relevant factors THEN FIX YOUR FUCKING SYSTEM.

Furthermore, give the NICS some TEETH. Of the 80,000 people who were denied a gun in 2012, only 44 were prosecuted. Now not everyone denied perhaps should be in jail, but 44? You are telling me of those tens of thousands only 44 were deemed worthy of arresting? I guess the jails are too full of pot possessions vs restricted persons seeking arms.

It isn’t a loop hole. It’s made so the gov. can’t just indefinitely deny your rights. The same gov I see posts warning about hiding information from FOIA and cracking down on encryption is the same one I am supposed to trust won’t abuse the ability to infinitely delay a gun purchase because they are still waiting to hear back from your 2nd grade teacher about an incident where you may or may not have cheated on a spelling test?

And if I can just apply some tin foil, what happens when you have the gov. strip NICS of its funding, leaving millions of checks to be performed by a dozen interns and the wait period goes into months or years.


#15

You always make a big deal out of this, so I decided to look up the reasons why someone might fail a background check and see how well that would correlate with the likelihood that you can actually charge such a person with a crime.

Conditions are from wikipedia’s article on NICS:

Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

Someone who has already been convicted of a crime cannot subsequently be charged with that same crime. You know this.

Is under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

If they’re already indicted, there’s obviously no reason to arrest them and charge them with the same crime.

Is a fugitive from justice;

Fair enough.

Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;

I’m not sure how the NICS determines this. If it’s the result of prior convictions, then arresting them and charging them with a crime make no sense unless the background check process somehow uncovered evidence of a more recent crime. It seems unlikely that this could happen as a result of someone trying to buy a firearm.

Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution;

Obviously no basis for arresting or charging the person.

Is illegally or unlawfully in the United States;

From what I understand, undocumented immigrants are only rarely charged and deported. I don’t know why that is and don’t feel like getting involved in an argument on that subject, but I think it’s fair to chalk this one up to immigration law rather than failure of the NICS background check system.

Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;

Again, not a crime to have been dishonorably discharged.

Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced U.S. citizenship;

Not sure if renouncing US citizenship while in the US territories is a crime, but I’d prefer if such people weren’t charged because it seems like a waste of time and money.

Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner;

The person has already been tried and convicted, and it seems unlikely that the mere attempt to purchase a firearm under this condition would reveal actionable evidence to the state.

Has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.[7]

Again, already convicted.

So there’s only one condition here that would suggest that a failed NICS background check should trigger a criminal investigation, and that is when a fugitive from justice attempts to purchase a firearm at a legal retailer. Assuming we have some very stupid criminals, 44 out of 18,000 seems utterly reasonable for meeting this one actionable condition. Furthermore, we can’t conclude from the fact that only 44 people were charged that only 44 people triggered the condition. Presumably, some number of fugitives, realizing they’re subject to a background check, flee.

I’m coming around on gun control more generally, but I think this is a stupid line of argumentation and I really do think you should drop it.


#16

Because either the system needs to DO something, or go away. What is the point of it? I guess you prevented one avenue, they will now just go through illegal means to buy a gun such as the black market or a straw purchase. But those people aren’t any worse for wear. There is virtually no threat of jail.

In 2012 there were 19.5 Million NICS checks. Of that over 80,000 were denied. But only 44 of those people were “bad” enough for someone to DO something about it? What is the point of the law to spend millions weeding out .42% if there is no enforcement?

I don’t have time to right now, and I should already know, what the legalities of TRYING to buy a gun are if you are a restricted person. I know a FELON possessing a gun is a crime for sure. So wouldn’t any felon who got denied be guilty of attempting to purchase a firearm? Here is the break down for reasons of denials from 1988-2012

I will also note that some states run their own checks and enforcements, but they don’t all report their numbers. I found a number of about 1500 arrests (not convictions) between 4 states. Still pretty low.

The #1 thing pro and anti-gun people agree on is trying to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, so I don’t understand if we have this law why we aren’t enforcing it.

It is a question on the form, and some people are that bright they answer “yes” they do use drugs.


#17

Well, it hypothetically made it more difficult and expensive for any of those 80,000 to actually purchase a gun, quite probably to the extent that a large number of them (perhaps a majority?) never actually bought one.

But are you trying to argue that failing a background check should be a crime? That seems out of keeping with your general attitude towards government and gun control.

I guess because the FELON isn’t actually in possession of a firearm until they buy it, and the background check is supposed to happen first? Again, charging a person with a crime they haven’t committed seems out of keeping with your philosophy on government, as far as I understand it.

Maybe you think trying to purchase a firearm while a felon should be illegal? Well, OK – again, not really in keeping with your general attitude about this stuff, but whatevs.

“Convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year”.

You realize that describes simple possession of marijuana? You think we should be tracking down everyone who forgot they got rolled for weed that one time and subsequently tried to buy a gun?

Again, there is no law against failing a background check. Again, you cannot charge a felon for possession of a firearm unless they actually possess a firearm. Again, if there is a law against trying unsuccessfully to purchase a firearm as a felon, I am not aware of it – and I’m not sure I’m for the idea, because again: millions of felons on simple possession of marijuana charges.

I am definitely against going evidence fishing in cases where people admit to using drugs on a background check.


#18

Fine, removing the word terrorist from the lexicon would work for me. But at present, the media in general refers to people of color who commit atrocities as terrorists, while applying some other label to white folks who commit similar atrocities. That’s my point.


#19

I am not a lawyer, and I was a big puzzled by this too, but a quick search said that 1 year is the maximum sentence a misdemeanor can carry.

Your points are all valid and they show how fucked up the system is. I completely agree that the number of people under drug felonies is absurd. I think there should be a track for non violent felons - especially drug felons - to regain their rights to vote etc.

And like I said, I don’t think everyone denied should be in jail. But I think there is a difference between some guy who had a charge 10 years ago thinking it was expunged or just not knowing the law and trying to buy a gun, vs someone with recent criminal charges. One will probably go “oh, I guess I can’t own a gun”, and one will probably begin seeking other avenues.

It seems to me someone recently in trouble, especially for violent crime, is denied, and tries to purchase a gun is up to no good and something should be looked into. I mean people are wanting to make big, more convoluted nets, and here we are with people practically being served up on platters.


#20

Use of politically incorrect drugs shouldn’t be a crime, and shouldn’t block your civil right to own firearms. (Also, I thought his drug charge had been a misdemeanor - it usually takes a felony to do that.)

But according to the news articles, Roof’s father had given him a gun as a 21st birthday present. So if he still had that, keeping him from buying a more macho-looking gun wouldn’t have significantly affected his ability to kill people.

And yes, he’s a terrorist. The fact that the Mythical White Race didn’t all rise up and join his self-declared racist jihad indicates that he’s a fairly incompetent one; didn’t occur to him to run a focus group among his fellow racists to see if even they would get on board. He seems to have learned tactics and strategy from the same kinds of people that Tim McVeigh learned from, without noticing the “didn’t work in practice” part.